SURVIVING THE HOLIDAYS
November 2018 and December 2018
“‘Tis the season to be jolly..” so the song goes.
Well, at a time when we’re supposed to be merry, - what if we aren’t?
Maybe a loved one has died & there is an empty place at the table. Maybe we are suffering a loss through death, divorce, separation, and are thinking desperately of “‘just getting through the holidays.‘”
We could be out of work, struggling with a life threatening illness, a loss of relationship, or a hundred other problems.
This program will not erase the memories nor will it eliminate the pain. It will, however, help the participant realize that her/his emotions are ‘normal’ while giving the opportunity to share with others experiencing the same feelings.
There will also be time to focus on the real meaning of the holidays. Join us.
November 14 and December 12
6pm to 7:30pm at Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Youth Center
87 Beacon Street, Florence
Call 210-9339 for more information
We all love to give and receive gifts at Christmas. I am asking you to consider adding one more person to your Christmas list – a person in prison. As a holiday gift you can give a one year subscription of The Monastic Way to a prisoner for $12. In many instances, prisoners receive very little spiritual support. As a result, they lose faith in themselves, in society, and worst of all, feeling abandoned, they lose faith in God. Because the Benetvision Fund for Prisoners – established by the Benedictine Sisters of Erie – has received such positive feedback on The Monastic Way we are especially hopeful of getting this publication into the hands of prisoners. Prisoners are some of the most forgotten people in society and perhaps the least served in Christianity. If you are able to join the many people who have supported this program, please make out your check for $12 to Benetvision Fund for Prisoners and place it in the collection basket or give it to me. Your support is always a gift. With gratitude – Georgina – Bereavement Support - 210-9339
In the words of Joan Chittister OSB, the founder of the Benetvision Fund for Prisoners:
Have you never been in prison?
Never been imprisoned by your fears, your embarrassments, your humiliations, your inadequacies?
Because if you have, you know that only those who “visit” you can make a difference.
ADVENT – A TIME TO REFLECT
Advent is our wake-up call to look beneath the glitter of the season to deeper realities.
Advent reminds us that what is near-by for the watchful and prayerful follower of Christ is not disaster but redemption.
The commercialization of this season has collateral benefits for us. It can remind us to look to the deep spiritual needs we all have. The lights and colors of the season can remind us to look after the beauty and light of our own soul and at the quality of our spiritual life. The emphasis on giving gifts can remind us that the power of a gift is not in its cost, but the spirit, the care, the friendship it represents.
Even the loneliness of Advent for some people reminds us of the things that really matter and how we can make changes in our life that will center on love of GOD and of neighbor.
God does not want us to be afraid, distant, or envious. God wants us to come close, very close, so close that we can rest in the intimacy of God as children rest in their mother’s arms.
So, God became a little baby. Who can be afraid of a little baby?? A baby is completely dependent on its parents, nurses, caregivers. Yes, GOD wanted to become so powerless as to be unable to eat or drink, walk, play, or work only with the help of many people.
Yes, GOD became dependent on human beings to grow up and live among us and proclaim the good news. Yes, GOD chose to become so powerless that the completion of GOD’S own mission among us became dependent on us. How can we fear a baby we rock in our arms, how can we be envious of a baby who only smiles at us in response to our tenderness?
That’s a mystery of Incarnation.
Lord, we welcome You and we adore You in Your coming helpless and needy among us.
GOD FOR US
GOD WITH US
GOD WITHIN US
As We Celebrate The Season of ‘Gifting’, - December, 2018
Everyone is feeling the effects of the political environment in our country right now, and we know how hard these times are for many of us. But I, as a follower of the non-violent Christ, believe that we participate in a deeper economy - - an economy rooted in our care and consideration for one another, and especially those most vulnerable in our communities.
We believe in a God of abundance, a God who has given us what we need, as the Exodus story of the manna in the wilderness reminds us. Fundamental to that story is the notion that if we only take what we need for today, there will be enough for everyone, and we trust that God will provide us “our daily bread” again tomorrow and the day after that. It is a difficult but hopeful message, based both on our trust in a generous God, and also on our ability to be ‘other-centered’, aware of and caring for the need of our sister and our brother wherever they may be.
This is the kind of community I believe the people of western Massachusetts to be, and we know faith prepares us for times just like these. As you consider the needs of those closest to you - in your family and in your community - I hope you will take comfort and strength from being part of a wide community of peace-makers and justice-seekers. Let us be for one another the security that money never can be. Share your faith and trust in Our Lord God
with someone who needs your message.